Biography

I was born in Scotland, just outside Glasgow, and sailed to Canada with my parents on my seventh birthday, which I’ve always felt was significant, as if the first part of my life had come to completion and the next was about to begin in a new world.

I grew up in Ottawa (before moving to Toronto in the mid 80s) and remember being drawn to journalism as a young person while watching This Hour Has Seven Days, which was such a dynamic and inspiring current affairs program on CBC TV.

Thanks to a connection made by a friend, I was fortunate to get a job as a researcher for CBC Radio (hired by the amazing David Candow) when I was 23, and I spent most of the next 10 years working at CBC Radio as a producer and freelance broadcaster. I began teaching journalism in 1978 and have continued to do so ever since, always part-time (no faculty meetings!). I have always been drawn to teaching and filled in as a high school substitute while I was attending Carleton University. One highlight was being hired repeatedly to teach English and History at Woodroffe High School only two years after having graduated from there.

My rather varied career also includes writing for magazines and corporate clients, conducting training for both the media and the corporate world ― I am fascinated by how people communicate under pressure ― and writing plays. When asked what I do I usually say I write and talk for a living, and that pretty well sums it up.

For many years I had an incredible client ― Kroll Lindquist Avey ― the world’s leading forensic accountants. These are the financial sleuths who, among other things, investigate fraud and white-collar crime throughout the world. Not many people likely know this discipline originated in Canada with this firm in the mid 1970s. One of my primary responsibilities was to write and edit a bi-monthly magazine called Report On Fraud. The things I know about stealing money!

I love the variety of assignments that come my way and the amazing people, from all walks of life, I have the pleasure of meeting and sometimes interviewing.

Perhaps I’m best known these days as an interviewing trainer, especially for CBC Radio and TV, and recently NPR.